North Coast volleyball teams continued non-conference play last week, highlighted by Wooster (0-0, 7-1) posting a perfect 4-0 record, which included a 3-0 mark over the weekend at the Northwestern Pennsylvania Classic. Prior to opening league play on September 23rd, NCAC teams will once again hit the court for non-conference competition this week, led by DePauw, Ohio Wesleyan, Wittenberg and Wooster all hosting invitational events.
ALLEGHENY posted a 3-1 record at its own Gator Invitational, collecting wins against D’Youville, 3-0, Westminster, 3-2, and Grove City, 3-0. Junior libero Terra Schall (Kittanning, PA/Kittanning) racked up 104 digs in five matches last week and has now moved into the top-10 on the program’s all-time list with 1,380 total digs, while junior middle hitter Leah Franzluebbers (Wethersfield, CT/East Catholic) finished the five-match stretch with 53 kills, 16 blocks, 13 digs and eight aces.
DENISON had a rough week on the court, which included dropping three-straight, five-set decisions against Marietta, Berry and RIT. Junior Leah Reinfranck (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) led the DU offense on the week with 57 kills, while classmate Kristin Thewes (Austin, TX/St. Stephens Episcopal) led the defense with 104 digs.
DEPAUW, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the AVCA Top-25, went 3-1 at Bluffton’s Sommer Center Spiketacular with three straight-set victories over Heidelberg, Bluffton and Geneva. In 12 total sets on the week, the Tigers averaged 13.5 kills per set, led by sophomore outside hitter Suzanne Peters (Ft. Wayne, IN/Homestead) finishing the event with 43 kills and a .234 hitting percentage. Peters, who was named to the all-tournament team, also showed versatility on the court for the Tigers with 46 digs and six total blocks.
HIRAM opened the week with a 3-1 loss against Heidelberg, before bouncing back with a pair of 3-0 home wins on Saturday against Hilbert and Marietta. Senior outside hitter Marissa Jay (Parma, OH/Padua Franciscan), who leads the NCAC with 118 kills, paced the Terries in their two wins with 14 kills against Marietta and 16 against Hilbert.
KENYON knocked off Wilmington, 3-0, in non-conference action on Tuesday, before going 2-2 over the weekend at Bluffton’s Sommer Center Spiketacular with a pair of 3-1 wins on Friday against Geneva and Thomas More. Sophomore outside hitter Delaney Swanson (Sonoma, CA/Sonoma Valley) was named to the all-tournament team after finishing the two-day event with 53 kills, 58 digs, nine aces and two blocks.
OBERLIN turned in a 1-1 record last week, falling to NCAA Div. II Notre Dame (OH), 3-1, before regrouping with a 3-0 victory over La Roche. Five different Yeowomen had at least 15 kills over the two matches combined, headlined by freshman Lexi Mitchell (Ft. Mill, SC/Providence Day) finishing the two-match stretch with 21 kills.
OHIO WESLEYAN, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the AVCA Top-25, traveled to California last weekend and posted a 1-3 record at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational, hosted by California Lutheran University. The Bishops opened the event on Friday with a narrow 3-2 loss against No. 20 Wisconsin-Whitewater, before topping Wheaton (IL) by a 3-0 margin. On Saturday, OWU dropped another 3-2 heartbreaker against No. 6 Emory, before closing out the event with a 3-1 loss against La Verne.
WITTENBERG, ranked eighth in the AVCA Top-25, traveled to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, last weekend for the Juniata ASICS Invitational. The Tigers went 2-1 at the event against three Top-25 teams, as they dropped a 3-0 decision against No. 25 Carnegie Mellon on Friday, before collecting a pair of 3-0 wins on Saturday against No. 9 Christopher Newport and No. 2 Juniata. Junior outside hitter Maddie Fischer (Minerva, OH/Minerva) was named to the all-tournament team after smashing 35 kills against just nine errors in 89 total attempts for a .293 hitting percentage. She also contributed 17 digs and three total blocks on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers.
WOOSTER went 4-0 last week with a 3-0 victory over Thiel on Wednesday and a 3-0 record over the weekend at the Northwestern Pennsylvania Classic with wins over Grove City, 3-0, Saint Vincent, 3-0, and Morrisville St., 3-1. Senior middle hitter Anna Emmick (Indianapolis, IN/Cardinal Ritter) was one of two Scots’ named to the all-tournament team after she compiled 23 kills and four blocks in the three tournament wins. She was joined on the all-tournament team by sophomore libero Gabrielle Basinski (Amherst, OH/Steele), who finished the three-match event with 47 digs in 10 total sets.